You Can Take the Israelite Out of Egypt, but…
Exodus 32. Wow.
It almost makes my head swim to see the scene played out on the pages of Scripture, particularly verses one through six.
Now when the people saw that Moses delayed to come down from the mountain, the people assembled about Aaron and said to him, “Come, make us [a]a god who will go before us; as for this Moses, the man who brought us up from the land of Egypt, we do not know what has become of him.” 2 Aaron said to them, “Tear off the gold rings which are in the ears of your wives, your sons, and your daughters, and bring them to me.”3 Then all the people tore off the gold rings which were in their ears and brought them to Aaron. 4 He took this from their hand, and fashioned it with a graving tool and made it into a molten calf; and they said, “[b]This is your god, O Israel, who brought you up from the land of Egypt.” 5 Now when Aaron saw this, he built an altar before it; and Aaron made a proclamation and said, “Tomorrow shall be a feast to the Lord.” 6 So the next day they rose early and offered burnt offerings, and brought peace offerings; and the people sat down to eat and to drink, and rose up to play.
A few points, then a few comments.
- Moses delayed to come down.
- So God’s people sought something, and someone else.
- They request a golden calf and embrace polytheism.
- They have no clue what’s happened to Moses, or why He hasn’t returned. He delivered them from Egypt, but he’s no longer around.
- Aaron, a great example of a poor leader, steps in and gives the people what they want.
You know what happened.
Now remember this:
- Moses is a type of Christ.
- Egypt is a type for the unregenerate world.
It makes me sad, and frustrated, not so much as what happened to Israel, but the fact that the same thing is happening today in the Church. The frustrating part is it seems I can’t do anything about it, at least beyond the sphere of my own life and family. I’m not a good writer, and never claimed to be, so I can’t ‘wow’ the church into being herded towards a post like this, though, if I thought it would do any good, I might try. I’m not famous, and to be honest, I don’t want to be. I used to fly all over this country, but I don’t like flying so much anymore, and it looks like speakers-in-demand must fly a lot. No thanks.
No, I am not feeling sorry for myself one iota, not one bit. So you smart-aleks who were getting ready to fire off a “waah-waah’ comment can save your energy for something more productive. Life is short, so shut-up.
The vast majority of the Church will not read what I am saying. My voice, and my perceived ranting, will go unheard or ignored. That’s ok, but it still makes me sick. It makes me sick because I care. I love the Church. I love the young people in it. Young ones, old ones and everyone in-between.
Here’s the thing. Jesus hasn’t returned yet, and many in the church are seeking out something else, and someone else, to fulfill their hearts desires. Those desires should tell them something, but in too many cases, it doesn’t. And that should tell you something.
See, it was easier to get the Israelites out of Egypt than it was to get Egypt out of the Israelites. God brought you out of the world, so you are in it, but not of it, but many are still jumping in bed with the world – and in the name of Christianity at that. That’s what makes me sick.
There are many unsaved people in the visible church. How do I know this? I know this because when an unsaved person wants God to be what he imagines Him to be – utterly approachable, just like us – tangible, a god who we can not only wrap our brains around, but we can dictate to and control, a god who we can worship in any way that we see fit – that, my friends, is a golden calf.
You and I do not get to choose how we worship God. How many times must that be said? When people think they can choose how, it tells me they have lost confidence or trust in God’s Word. Maybe they haven’t gotten what they wanted out of life, perhaps their dreams have been crushed, so now they take things into their own hands, and fashion a god in their minds who will accept their willful disobedience. Golden calf.
Look at Israel at the foot of this mountain. They didn’t want to go against anything that was popular and in demand. What’s in demand today in reformed communities? Hip-hop in worship services. Look at Aaron, he’s the leader in the absence of Moses. What a pathetic yet how human a leader at that! Aaron gives the people what they want, not what they need. The people demand a golden calf, and Aaron speaks no “Thus saith the Lord!” – he speaks no scripture. No, he gives the people exactly what they wanted.
There’s no leadership here. There is no reverence for God, and where there is no reverence, there is no worship. The people desire the party life, and that’s what they have. Today, we have the same thing. So-called leaders of the church invite hip-hop and contemporary, worldly music and performances into the very sanctuary of the local church, and declare it worship!! And the people say nothing, do nothing, but join in the dance around the modern day golden calf of false christianity.
The party life is the life of degenerate pagans of old. The ancient pagans were well known for giving the people what they wanted. Not separation from the world, but like the world, in thought and behavior.
The ancient pagans wanted a religion that gave them what they wanted, not what God required. Today, the visible church echoes that same spirit – a religion, a Christianity, that gives them leave to choose not only which god they worship, but how they worship him, or them.
“Christianity” in many visible churches today, gives the people what they want, how they want it, by way of poor leaders too cowardly, too weak, too greedy for the taste of the fame and celebrity lifestyle, for acceptance, perhaps by a hopeful, self-exalting legacy by which people who buy their books and their heresies may enjoy a false assurance that the one true God is still with them in the midst of their idolatry.
And it makes me sick, because I cannot stop it. But today is a new day, a new year, 2014, and I am not without hope.